Court name
Court of Appeal
Case number
WACA CR APP 9 of 1950

Youma v Regem (WACA CR APP 9 of 1950) [1950] SLCA 7 (27 November 1950);

Law report citations
1950-1956 ALR S.L,71
Media neutral citation
[1950] SLCA 7
Case summary:

Criminal Law—provocation—adultery—only witnessing of adulterous act sufficient to reduce husband’s offence to manslaughter

Coram
Blackall, P
Hallinan, J Nig

YOUMA v. R., 1950-56 ALR S.L. 71

 

YOUMA v. REGEM

West African Court of Appeal (Blackall, P., Hallinan, J. (Nig.) and Hyne, J. (G.C.)): November 27th, 1950

(W.A.C.A. Cr. App. No. 9/50)                                                    5

[1] Criminal Law—provocation—adultery—only witnessing of adulterous act sufficient to reduce husband’s offence to manslaughter: It is only where a husband finds his wife in the act of committing adultery and in the heat of the moment kills the adulterer that there is sufficient provocation to reduce the offence from murder to man- 10 slaughter (page 71, lines 31-34).

The appellant was charged in the Supreme Court with murder of his wife.

At the trial the appellant raised two lines of defence: that he had been provoked by his wife’s adulterous association with another man, and that her death occurred as the result of an accident. He was convicted, and on appeal the West African Court of Appeal considered the limits of the defence of provocation where adultery was the provocative act alleged.                                  20

The appellant appeared in person.

M.C. Marke, Crown Counsel, for the Crown.

BLACKALL, P., delivering the judgment of the court:

This is an appeal against conviction for murder of the appellant’s 25 wife. Two lines of defence were put forward: the first that the deceased had provoked him, and the second that she met her death through an accident.

With regard to the first, the prisoner in his statement to the police said that his wife had been going with another man. But that                                                                                            30

would not be sufficient to reduce the crime to manslaughter. It is only where the husband finds his wife in the act of committing adultery and kills the adulterer on the spot that this defence can operate.

Moreover, the appellant himself says that there was no quarrel 35 between them on the day of the woman’s death. He says he merely wanted to prevent her going back to town, and to prevent her doing so he put out his matchet and she ran into it. But the medical evidence is that the blow that caused her death was a downward one on the back of the neck, and the judge and assessors rejected   40

that defence.

THE AFRICAN LAW REPORTS

In the opinion of this court, the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and the appeal must be dismissed.

Appeal dismissed.